Special Exhibition Review: The Memory of Forest - an Island of Weaving

山林記憶 - 編織之島







Responding to the geographical feature of former Mitsui warehouse in terms of goods transportation and extending to the development of forest resources during the colonial period and the relationship between the Government-General of Japan and the indigenous people, the second special exhibition of “Memory Warehouse” has the original state of Taiwan’s forests as beginning and displays the landscape of Taiwan’s primitive forests and the development of forests management through images with the ancestors’ preachinggaga chanted in ancient tunes by Atayal elders; from Tu-niu Ditch to the Defense Line of Frontier Gourd, the relationships of diversified ethnic groups in different periods are understood while the forests, products, transportation, and culture in northern area are also demonstrated. Finally, the current situation of forest use is responded with Atayal Gaga, looking forward to a sustainable future.

The primary material used for the structure of the exhibition venue is Taiwania cryptomerioides which has created a structure similar to that of mountains in Taiwan. The virtual and real display racks suggest the dynamic state of Taiwan’s forests that had been heavily used and gradually restored. In the center of the exhibition venue, a large model of the contour lines of northern Taiwan was situated to truly show the spatial relationship of the forests in northern area during the Japanese colonial period as well as reflect the situation of different ethnic groups that is worth the island people’s understanding and reflection.

This exhibition explores the memory of forests in different periods through literature and historical materials, pictures, animation, the northern Taiwan model, and the reprint of trolley. However, the huge amount of historical facts are also being researched till now. A great amount of books relating to the exhibition are prepared in the venue for visitors to read. There are also more than 20 short stories relating to the memory of forests excerpted and each excerption is put in a Gashapon (a capsule toy). The visitor can randomly get one and bases on the clues of the story note in the Gashapon to find the full text of the publication.

In a long history, there should be the developments of mutual learning and understanding in addition to the conflicts of diversified cultures, and the balance can always be found. The opposite of the Defense Line of Frontier Gourd is the creation of this exhibition, “an island of weaving.” The exhibition tries to convey the message that the fusion of different cultures is like weaving that should have two threads for the continual weaving and the mutual understanding in current generation also contains the memory of the past history.

Organizer: Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government
Implementer: Vision Union
Co-organizer: Institute for Historical Resources Management
Curation team: Vision Union

Date: August 01, 2019 – December 31, 2019